Garmin Vivoactive HR wants you to ditch the chest strap

Second gen Garmin smartwatch will now also automatically recognise workouts

Garmin has officially announced the Vivoactive HR, the successor to one of the surprise smartwatch hits of last year.

Building on its predecessor, the Vivoactive HR has all of the same great smartwatch features including notification support and 24/7 activity tracking. This time, Garmin has added its own Elevate optical heart rate technology into the mix as well.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches in the world

That's the same tech packed into the Vivosmart HR fitness tracker and the Garmin Forerunner 235 running watch, letting you monitor heart rate data continuously and get a more accurate indication of your calorie burn during the day and night.

It's also adding a barometric altimeter, which might be a staple on Garmin's sports watches, but now means you can track elevation, which is handy for hilly run training.

Elsewhere, it still uses the same touchscreen colour display and has GPS on board so you can track your runs outdoors. There's still dedicated apps for running, cycling, golf and swimming plus added support for paddle boarding and skiing.

There's the addition of the new Garmin Move IQ mode, that'll automatically recognise activities like walking, running, swimming and elliptical training. It's like the SmartTrack feature you get on Fitbit's trackers basically.

You can still connect to the Garmin Connect IQ store to add apps, data fields, and watch faces and review all of your data in the steadily improving Garmin Connect companion app.

In terms of battery life, Garmin claims you can expect 8 days battery life with continuous activity and heart rate tracking switched on. When you put the GPS to good use, you can expect up to 13 hours of playtime.

The Vivoactive HR is priced a little more expensively than the original Vivoactive coming in at $249.99. There's no news on a release date yet, but the Garmin website does indicate a processing time of 5-8 weeks, so it might be a month at least before you can get your hands on it.

The good news is that it will be out in Barcelona at MWC, so we'll definitely get our hands on one and let you know if it makes a good first impression.

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  • thesglife·

    I really like the looks and features of this band making it a toss up between this and the Fitbit Blaze. This band would be a definite buy if I wasn't already tied into the Fitbit ecosystem including all of my family and friends having Fitbits. Still, I'll wait for the reviews to come in on both products before making a decision.

  • vicle·

    I am allready a long time on the lookout for a tracker. This looks like a very good allrounder. 
    To bad for the fibits and the jawbones , this one has the best specs and looks. 
    Once this one comes out and nothing even better is being anounced in the mean while I might end up buying this one!

  • DannieJ·

    Um...Yes!! I ALMOST bought the Vivoactive today but decided against it because I knew they had to eventually come out with a newer model. This is PERFECT!! I have the Vivofit 2 right now. I had the Vivosmart HR but returned it today because it was having a hard time counting stairs and sometimes it would tell me to move while I was moving. I'm going to get this Vivoactive HR!! This has everything I want! GPS, HR, smart notifications, automatically detects when you change sports and it's waterproof. All for $250! It also looks better than it's predecessor. The Vivoactive is ugly. Also, I don't really see a point in the Vivofit 3.

  • Mick2015·

    Any possibility to store some MP3's to listen music during sports activity (using a blutooth headset)??

  • ColdAlaskan·

    I just bought the VivoActive last night (March 1st) and as I was figuring out how to set it up, I accidentally came across articles for the VivoActive HR, and my stomach dropped! But after I calmed down, I decided that when the new HR version comes out, I will buy it and give my husband the VivoActive I just bought. BIG QUESTION is WHEN will this be available t purchase??? I have a trip planned for April 8th- any chance I can get my hands on the HR before I leave?

    • swauger·

      I pre-ordered one from Amazon and they charged my card two days ago. I looked and FedEx says it will be delivered tomorrow. I'm super excited.

      • kingcampos00·

        Did you get it ? 

  • Amcmor·

    Available on Amazon to be delivered next day, but not available on Garmin store??? What gives???